5 April 2012
As we advised in Part 1 of this special feature, RVN decided to make contact with a number of people and ask some questions to gauge what their reactions to them would be as people who are not real vampires, are not connected to “the community” except in an observational way, a remote way or not directly connected at all except perhaps through some small interest in research.
Accordingly, for this special edition of “Chatting with Vampires” we decided to change the recipe ~ we left out the vampires!
In part two of this two part article we would like to welcome our guests, J.V. Krakowski, Johan and Ric
J.V. Krakowski tells us, of herself, “I am J.V Krakowski, an aspiring writer, psychic development teacher and practicing Witch from Southern California.
Before the community, I wasn’t interested in vampires, nor ever really read vampire fiction. I’d like to say I developed an interest out of curiosity, but I was helping a friend avoid doing something epically stupid. I was trying to protect her from someone that I felt wasn’t good for her.
Through that, I discovered Real Vampires. The first few experiences were horrible, but I eventually met some nice, knowledgeable and iJohan relates this, “I once dated a vampire. It was interesting, enticing and at moments hugely disturbing. The person definitely had a great impact on my life. Although we parted quite violently so to speak, none of the curses she put on me ever had any effect, as I am very happy with my life right now. Through her, I learned about vampires and their ways, while I should have learned what I needed to know for exams at University. She had her teeth fixed to be fangs, she claimed to be able to stay forever young, that she wanted to drink my blood and I saw her coffin, although she slept in a bed as far as I know. She was quite the character.”
Ric is the husband of a lady sanguinarian vampire.
RVN: Good evening and welcome to Real Vampire News. Ok, just to break the ice and before we get into the good stuff, who’s your favourite vampire?
JVK: Merticus! He’s been eluding me for years, I swear. I’ve been trying to figure out his secret to knowing so much before anyone else. If I had to name a favorite vampire, it would be him. I’ve asked him, but he hasn’t told me. He’s like mertipedia…
J: Haha, well I guess it would be Selene from the movie Underworld or ‘Vampire Princess Miyu’ from the anime with the same name. Both are purely fictional characters though.
R: Well my wife is my favorite lol.
RVN: When you think of the word “Vampire” what, immediately, comes to mind?
J: Fangs and blood drinking. I’m old fashioned.
R: Movies and Hollywood .
JVK: Honestly, I’ve been involved with real vampires for so many years that I just imagine real people.
Then again, maybe someone that sparkles like Edward Cullen? (It’s a private joke between a few vamp friends and me.) That would be a justice, really. Something strong, dark and powerful. I think many young vampires feel jilted to discover everything isn’t what myth told them it would be.
RVN: If we use the term “Real Living Vampire”, what, immediately, comes to mind?
J: I would have to say that a certain individual from my past comes to mind. Until I met her my first reaction would have been: wait, what?
JVK: A leather wearing person with an edge of creepy.
I’m sorry, but so many vamps I’ve met wear dark, gothic styles—mostly made of vinyl and leather. At a few gatherings I’ve attended, I felt like a freak in a white top and denim jeans. I looked like a freak, too.
R: Goth or dark clothing.
RVN: What, if any, knowledge do you have of the subculture and community of persons that define themselves as modern living vampires?
JVK: I would like to think my knowledge is somewhat extensive, but I’ve known many to know more than me. (Ex: Merticus) While I’ve been an observer within the vampire community, there is much I have to discover and understand about it.
I grew up with vampires, to be honest. I’ve learned that many are individuals that band together to understand an unexplainable condition. While fights are passionate and maybe frequent, they still befriend and/or tolerate each other because nobody else would understand their hardships and suffering more than each other. I’ve seen a remarkable ability to band together towards common goals, level headed reasoning and a desire for something better. It’s qualities that are rare, which I find interesting to find within a subculture that society views as dark outcast.
R: Just what I’ve read or heard.
J: I know of a community in Europe (sorry to not be specific), where I used to live and through an intimate relationship with a member, I found out the following stuff.
This particular community holds initiation ceremonies and parties; the members drink blood from people. It makes them feel awesome. There is a hierarchical structure and some people or should I say vampires hold power over others. This means a certain amount of wealth for the individuals at the top, I’m sure. They like to speak Latin or Romanian. People may or may not have coffins and may or may not sleep in them.
RVN: What, in your opinion, are the key factors that would attract people to this “community”?
R: a sense of family or fitting in.
J: I think a sense of belonging compared with an adversity towards religion is a good motivation to look to belong to this type of group. Vampires are considered cool and I guess people can feel regular society is boring and insufficient.
JVK: In my experience, many people are attracted to an idea that vampires are powerful, immortal and/or untouchable. They want to be more—something wonderful and exciting. They want something to solve every problem, right every mistake and provide comfort.
Humans, by nature, fear darkness and the unknown. On a whole, vampires represent an unnatural immunity to that through camaraderie with it. Instead of living in fear, they surge forward to master and tame it.
That would be attractive to many people.
For young vampires, many yearn for a sense of understanding and belonging. They want someplace that understands their problems, help them solve it and provide a cure.
We’ve heard many stories like that, whether you realize it or not.
A person discovers he/she is a vampire, denies it through an attempt to prove it wrong.
In those cases, I would imagine a sense of home attracts them.
RVN: If you were approached by a person who introduced themselves and said “I am a real vampire” what would your first reaction be?
J: I would try to find out more about this person. If they belong to a community or if they are loners or if they are joking. :p
R: Nice to meet you. When did you discover you were a vampire?
JVK: First off, I’d wonder why I was lucky enough to get that introduction. Was I listed somewhere? Who gave me up now? After that, I’d wonder what sort of help that person required. When that’s done, I’d pray, ‘Goddess…please tell me he’s not crazy.’
In general, I’ve rarely gotten an odd introduction without someone needing something. I help people, so most people that come to me want help in some way. It usually means stress, weird circumstances and bizarre secrets.
If you want an absolute first reaction, I’d probably be thinking, ‘Goddess…not again.’
RVN: There have been a number of books written by, and about, modern vampires, such as,
The Psychic Vampires Guide: To Subtle Body Language and Psionics
~ Lono Fructus Vespertilio
Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today
~ Katherine Ramsland
The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work
~ Michelle A. Belanger
Vampyre Sanguinomicon: The Lexicon of the Living Vampire
~ Father Sebastiaan
Vampires Today: The Truth about Modern Vampirism
~ Dr. Joseph Laycock
Have you heard of, or read, any of these titles? Would you be interested in reading them? Why or Why not?
JVK: Lono Vespertilio is a friend of mine, so I’ve been meaning to read his book. He’s a great guy—knowledgeable and dedicated. I would imagine his book shows that.
In general, any non-fiction reading I do is for research and/or recommendation. While I’ve heard of these authors, I haven’t picked up their books. They’ve been highly recommended, but I haveWhy buy a book with so many living, breathing resources around? There are plenty of community elders available for a chat. If I really needed something, I could just ask a few key people to send out an announcement for me, and then I’d get what I needed. I’ve done it.
It’s much faster than Amazon or Google.
R: I have not heard of any of those books but the Sanguinomicon: would be an interesting read. It might help me understand my wife a little more.
J: As a writer, I follow the advice of George RR Martin: write! Write! Read! Read! Good books will tell you how and what to write, bad books will tell you what not to write. I’m writing a zombie story now, but who knows in the future…
I haven’t read any, but I would expect them to be either mysterious, informative or a combination of a known science with some spiritualism. You don’t have to be a psychic vampire to scare people of on the street or make people lose their thoughts or make people depressed, any work on psychology or psycho-analysis can give you that ability.
Of course Freud and Young could have been psychic vampires, haha.
RVN: If you received a V.I.P. invitation to attend an “Endless Night Vampire Ball” how likely would you be to attend and why, or why not?
R: Likely because I would support my wife in her beliefs.
J: The person from my past, who was a ‘vampire’, is a person I would prefer to not ever meet again. Not on her being a vampire, just on a personal level. This means that I wJVK: I’ve wanted to attend a gathering for years, but so many of them are hundreds of miles away! I couldn’t afford a plane ticket—much less housing, food and so forth. If I could attend a gathering a bit closer (like Southern California), I would definitely attend. It’s a personal goal—to attend a gathering instead of reading about it.
You have no idea how much envy I feel for people that attend them.
RVN: Despite there being no medical evidence currently available there are those who claim that they need to ingest blood in order to remain fit and healthy. How would you react to these claims?
J: People can be vegetarians and be healthy, but nevertheless most people hunger for meat. If you would take it away, they would feel weak. I guess it is a psycho-somatic state.
R: Stranger things have happened and if that helps make them feel better then go for it.
JVK: Honestly, I haven’t thought about it. I’ve met many types of people, lifestyles and beliefs. I’ve encountered weirder things than that, so it doesn’t bother or concern me either way.
As for energy, that’s an easy leap to make. There is a possibility that a person can absorb energy to maintain health because it’s been a belief spanning many cultures and societies—many of which had no historical connections or contact with each other. How would you explain similar or identical beliefs in 2 groups thousands of miles apart?
The downfall of science is a belief that we have nothing more to learn. When you believe that, you start to miss important things.
RVN: If you come across a story in the media wherein a person makes a claim that they are “a vampire” what is your first thought?
R: Oh my here we go again lol. Only because of the Hollywood movies.
JVK: Acute embarrassment.
While I agree with mainstreaming, I disagree with attracting publicity purposely. I’d rather not make anyone into a freak show, but that seems increasingly prevalent.
J: They are stupid. Even a child will know that this person is never going to be taken seriously. So no matter what you believe, it is strange to claim such a thing in the media. You should say that you belong to a community with interest in vampire activities, like a vampire club. How hardcore the club is I would keep to myself. Lots of people believe themselves to be not human, but why would you admit to it openly?
RVN: When you think about the term “community”, in a general sense, what do you understand the term to mean?
JVK: Family. Home.
A gathering of people that understand and support you.
R: Family and neighbor watching out for each other and helping each other.
J: I think it is a place where people live together or function together in a stable way. The fluctuations in members of the community are usually limited. Fluctuation in amounts of members usually means either globalization, transformation or collapse.
RVN: In your opinion, what are the vital ingredients that a “community” needs to be able to exist and function effectively?
R: Support and togetherness
J: A community needs interaction to function. You will be better friends with someone you see every day or talk to every day than someone you only see once in a while. This means what to do for a highly effective community is to meet on a regular basis. What is done at those meetings is of lesser importance.
JVK: A level head, intelligence and a willingness to work together—despite any and all differences. It helps to have a sense of family—an understanding, support and bond that holds it together.
A sense that says, “Despite everything that happens, we’re among those that’ll understand your hardships and suffering. We’ve been there and done that, so it’s okay. You’ll make it.”
RVN: Do you have any general comments that you would like to make on the matter of modern real vampires and their community?
R: I wish that the world [would] wake up and let bygones be bygones.
JVK: The vampire community is interesting because it’s a sense of hope for different communities that hide from society. It’s a role model for mainstreaming, giving a glimpse into a world where nobody has to hide.
Try setting a good example because people are watching and hoping.
J: I would imagine the communities to be highly dispersed and definitely not unified. This means that there are probably lots of different kinds of communities and lots of different individuals within those communities. Why would you call them modern vampires? Don’t they live forever and would they not be both modern as well as ancient?
RVN: Thank you very much for spending this time with us and for giving us your insights, we appreciate your participation.
Truly a valuable insight into the thoughts and perceptions of those who are not intimately part of the community, nor swayed by its undercurrents by being real living vampires. In reading the responses from our gracious guests you might be sitting there with cries of “stereotyping”, “misconception” and the like about to drop from your tongue but stop and think for one moment, the views and opinions that have been expressed are how people outside the community, those who have no axe to grind and differing levels of feeling about the modern vampire subculture have reacted. In the main, from the standpoint of basic knowledge of the subject and this makes their contribution to this article extremely valuable to those who would see change wrought within the VC/OVC.
Copyright RVN, C. Michael Forsyth, Darren Mann, Nadine Maritz, J.V. Krakowski, Johan and Ric, 2012
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